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How to set up a company in Vietnam

Private investments have transformed Vietnam into one of the most powerful economies in Southeast Asia, a factor which is decisive for foreign enterprisers looking for countries with good economic results to start a business in. Vietnam is one of these countries, as the legislation related to foreign investments is very welcoming.

Foreign investors who want to set up companies in Vietnam can choose between several industries which are performing quite well at this moment. Among them, manufacturing, tourism, services, and construction are the most significant.

Our company formation consultants in Vietnam can offer information on the Investment Law and the Enterprise Act, the most important laws related to starting a business here. With a vast experience in company formation matters in Vietnam, our local agents can help foreign investors register any type of business.

Types of structures available for registration in Vietnam

According to the legislation in Vietnam, the following types of companies are available for incorporation:

  1. the domestic limited liability company which can be set up by Vietnam residents;
  2. the foreign-owned limited liability company which can be set up by foreign investors exclusively;
  3. the free zone company which is available for both local and foreign investors in Vietnam’s free zones;
  4. the joint venture which is available for foreign investors interested in partnerships with local companies in Vietnam;
  5. branch and liaison offices which are available for foreign companies seeking to have a presence in Vietnam.

As you can see, Vietnam offers plenty of structures under which foreign investors can operate. With the help of our company formation specialists in Vietnam, the incorporation of any of the business forms mentioned above can be quite simple.

No minimum capital requirements for setting up a company in Vietnam

Which is one of the most important aspects taken into consideration by investors who want to establish companies in Vietnam. Together with the fact that the Enterprise Law provides for the two most popular types of structures for company incorporation, Vietnam is one of the most appealing countries to create a business in.

Speaking about company types, our Vietnam company registration agents remind foreign enterprisers they can open private enterprises, partnerships, limited liability companies, and joint stock corporations. The limited liability company can be registered as a one-member or multiple-member company in Vietnam. 

Particularities when opening a company in Vietnam

Apart from being allowed to set up one of the types of companies acknowledged by the Enterprise Law, foreign investors can also choose one of the special business forms covered by the Investment Act which provides for joint ventures, business cooperation contracts and several types of arrangements with local companies.

Our local company registration specialists can explain the procedure for setting up these types of ventures. In case you would like to set up a company in another Asian country, our team can put you in touch with a reliable team of company incorporation experts in Singapore.

Company registration services in Vietnam

One of the most important services we offer to our clients in Vietnam is related to the incorporation of a business here. If you want to set up a company in Vietnam, we can help with the following:

  • tailored assistance in selecting the right business form in accordance with your needs and industry you want to operate in;
  • assistance in preparing all the documents to be submitted with the Vietnam Trade Register;
  • virtual office services and nominee shareholder and director services are also available with us;
  • assistance in various taxation matters: from tax registration to tax planning and minimization solutions;
  • help in obtaining the necessary business permits and licenses for operating in Vietnam.

We invite you to get in touch with our specialists in Vietnam company formation if you have any questions related to starting a business in this country.

Requirements for opening a company in Vietnam

The requirements for setting up a business in Vietnam depend on the type of structure chosen and on the industry the foreign investor wants to operate in. Most of the times, entrepreneurs from other countries will decide on the foreign-owned limited liability company which allows for operations in various industries. From this point of view, IT, manufacturing, trading and education are open to full foreign ownership. Tourism is one of the industries which require a local partner in Vietnam.

Among the requirements which need to be respected for company registration in Vietnam, we must mention the fact that the company must have a local address in the country. The foreign investor can start with a virtual office address provided by our representatives and he or she can change the address along the way.

If in some cases the shareholding structure of the company is flexible, the resident director requirements imply for any type of company to have at least one resident director. The appointed director must not be a Vietnam resident at the time of incorporation of the company, but he or she must have a residential address at the point.

Our local consultants can explain in detail the main requirements to comply with in the first stage of company incorporation in Vietnam and can handle some of the procedures on behalf of investors unable to travel here.

Documents related to setting up a company in Vietnam

Local and foreign enterprisers interested in setting up companies in Vietnam must first prepare the statutory documents and then file them with the Trade Registrar.

The most important ones are the Memorandum and Articles of Association which must be drafted before a public notary. Following that, the business owner must have a company seal made.

The other documents to be prepared when starting a company in Vietnam are:

  •           a list with the name and other details of the shareholders;
  •           a document which states the financial assets brought by each shareholder;
  •           a feasibility study which must indicate how the business will help the local economy;
  •           a document which explains how the project of the company will comply with the legislation;
  •           an announcement about the registration of the company which must be published three times in a row in a local newspaper.


Steps for company formation in Vietnam

After preparing the documents mentioned above, the shareholders must follow the company registration procedure of the Vietnamese company which implies:


  1. file the documents prepared with the Companies Register, together with information about the legal address of the company;
  2. open the corporate bank account which will be used for depositing the share capital;
  3. register with the tax authorities for VAT and taxation, but also for social security purposes;
  4. apply for the necessary business licenses or permits before commencing any activity.

Business licenses for foreign investors in Vietnam

The first license to be obtained when opening a company in Vietnam as a foreign investor is the investment license which is issued by the Department of Planning and Investment. It takes around one month to obtain such a license, however, where more approvals are needed, the timeframe can prolong.

After the investment license is obtained, the company registration process can continue, however, the company will need to apply for other special permits and licenses depending on the industry to operate in.

Our company formation representatives in Vietnam can offer more information on the licensing procedures when starting a business as a foreign entrepreneur.

Assistance in setting up a company in Vietnam

Foreign investors will need a local representative in order to complete the company registration process in Vietnam. Our local consultants can help them with:
  • the preparation of all the documents needed to create the new company and their filing with the Business Registration Office;
  • the opening of a limited liability company can be completed remotely, so we only need a power of attorney to start the process;
  • we can also help with the opening of the bank account and offer virtual office solutions;
  • our services also include accounting and bookkeeping for any type of company foreign investors want to open;
  • we can also help those who want to buy ready-made companies in order to reduce the time between the registration and the starting of operations of a new company.


Why start a business in Vietnam?

Vietnam is one of the most prolific economies in Southeast Asia. Foreign investors can benefit from many incentives in industries such as IT, agriculture, science and technology and environmental protection granted by the government. Apart from these:

  • Vietnam provides for a 20% standard corporate tax rate (lower rates are available for the industries mentioned above);
  • the country has one of the lowest VAT rates in the world of only 10% (reduced rates of 5% and 0% are also available);
  • preferential tax rates for projects developed by companies which start at 10%;
  • tax exemptions available for at least 2 years and maximum of 4 years for certain projects.

If you want to open a company and need help with the company registration procedure, please feel free to contact our local agents.

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